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AAN: Vaccine Aimed at ?Mad Cow? Disease Protects Prion-Explosed Mice

AAN: Vaccine Aimed at ?Mad Cow? Disease Protects Prion-Explosed Mice

BOSTON, May 3 -- An experimental, orally delivered mucosal vaccine appears to offer significant protection against prion-related infections, at least in mice, investigators reported here.

Mice orally inoculated with the vaccine and developed high antibody titers to the prion protein remained symptom-free more than 400 days after a challenge with the infectious prion disease scrapie, reported Thomas Wisniewski, M.D., of New York University at the American Academy of Neurology meeting.

In contrast, control animals became symptomatic in about 120 days, and inoculated mice with lower levels of antibody titers to the prion protein had delayed progression to frank disease, said Dr.Wisniewsk.

There is currently no treatment for prion infections, which are uniformly fatal and rapidly progressive when the symptoms appear, with death occurring in a matter of months. But prior to the symptomatic period, there is a long incubation period, in some reported cases more than 40 years.

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